Here you can see the US's only Leonardo da Vinci
painting, Ginevra, along with the world's top traveling
exhibitions. Every American owns an equal share of the art here,
which may well prompt a burst of patriotic pride.
Vision When Andrew Mellon
was secretary of the treasury (1921 - 32) he realized that the capital
city lacked a great gallery illustrating the development of Western
art. so when he died in 1937, he left an endowment and his
renowned collection of paintings and sculpture to the American people,
and passed on his dream to his son. Paul Mellon oversaw the
construction of John Russell Pope's classical building, opened in 1941,
and eventually of I. M. Pei's stunning East Wing, opened in 1978,
perhaps the finest modern building in the US.
art The permanent collection includes Renaissance
painting, with works by Italian masters Raphael and Titian, Spanish
painters Velasquez, El Greco, an Goya, as well as Flemish, German,
and Dutch paintings from van der Weyden and Durer to Rubens and
Vermeer. The French are well represented by Watteau, Corot, Manet,
Renoir, and all the Impressionists. Works by William Hogarth begin
the tour of Brithis painting, from Gainsborough to Turner.
American painting is represented by Gilbert, Stuart, Winslow Homer,
James McNeill Whistler and others. Outside is a sculpture garden,
opened in 1999, includes works by Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg,
and a huge bronze spider by Louise Bourgeois!